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 p882  Pegma

Article by James Yates, M.A., F.R.S.,
on p882 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

PEGMA (πῆγμα), a pageant, i.e. an edifice of wood, consisting of two or more stages (tabulata), which were raised or depressed at pleasure by means of balance-weights (ponderibus reductis, Claudian, de Mallii Theod. Cons. 323‑328; Sen. Epist. 89). These great machines were used in the Roman amphitheatres (Juv. IV.121; Mart. VIII.33.3;º Suet. Claud. 34), the gladiators who fought upon them being called pegmares (Calig. 26).º They were supported upon wheels so as to be drawn into the circus, glittering with silver and a profusion of wealth (Plin. H. N. XXXIII.3 s16). At other times they exhibited a magnificent though dangerous (Vopisc. Carin. 19)º display of fireworks (Claudian, l.c.). Accidents sometimes happened to the musicians and other performers who were carried upon them (Phaedr. V.7.7).

The pegmata mentioned by Cicero (ad Att. IV.8) may have been movable book-cases.

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Page updated: 19 Dec 06